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Astronut7
Wed, Jun 6, 2018, 1:51am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Chrome
Absolutely. I completely agree with your viewpoint that writers of diverse talent, and backgrounds, and points of view, should have a go at writing Star Trek. Star Trek also deals with being understanding of other people's opinions.

My issue is that with someone at the HELM of Star Trek should have a personally diverse background, involving veteran's experience in war, medical experience (saving lives), law enforcement (policing), and/or practical science--or at the very least, needs to closely heed the advice of people who have such experience, and/or ways of thinking.

I mean, if memory serves, the writers of Voyager tried to get a consultant for Native American culture, to base the Marquis culture on, who later turned out to be a fraud--and it SHOWED in the episodes. Where was the leadership, there? Instead of promoting cultural diversity, therefore, Voyager turned out to be promoting cultural stereotypes, acquiescing to Star Fleet protocols, and Western world values, regardless of how inane, stupid, or dangerous, those protocols or values actually were--suppressing investigative thought, or examination of diverse cultures in the process.

Gene Roddenberry HAD that experience, which is why concepts in early episodes of TOS, and TNG could be quite difficult to understand, or there sometimes seemed to be certain 'gaps' in explanations, or sometimes what was done or talked about did not make sense to the viewer. This is ignoring the increased difficulty in comprehension resulting from poor writing, actors not comfortable in their roles, and cheap effects, now dated. Not to mention the real clunkers.

So, honestly, get someone from the FBI, or from a law enforcement agency with plenty of practical, scientific, medical, engineering, or other investigative experience to helm Star Trek. Maybe such an individual or organization ought to write a few episodes, to teach Americans about certain values such as 'fidelity, bravery, and integrity'.

Because what Star Trek Discovery LACKS is those things. What it has in spades is stupid, reckless, ignorant, irresponsible behaviour, and this is the kind of thing that Star Trek should not be promoting. People get confused about what Star Trek is about--one of the most common issues is people assuming Star Trek is a military organization. It isn't--or wasn't, prior to Deep Space Nine, and the TNG movies. If I were to describe Star Trek in a way that people from the U.S of A could possibly understand, I'd say it was 'The Federal Bureau of Investigations in SPACE--protecting, investigating, and resolving disputes of the United Federation of Planets, in the final frontier.'

This is also why the interactions of Odo, and Quark, are DEFINITELY Star Trek, even though Deep Space Nine didn't apply the 'no conflict' rule, that astronauts have to follow in space, or those in any potentially deadly field of work. I cannot emphasize this point enough--Discovery's team does not have war veteran's experience, scientific experience, engineering experience, medical experience, diplomatic experience, or other investigative experience--or if they do, they are not applying it. They only seem to have experience in business, profits, and drama. Get the FBI in--at least on the advisory team. I wish I was joking.
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Astronut7
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 3:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Although I must hasten to add. Turning on a dime in an internet discussion with my fingers frozen as they are now, would not be beneficial to anybody. Ouch. I'm going to warm up, and get some rest. Way different time zones.
The trouble is Peter G, and Chrome, is that I'm not sure you have the background to see what I'm getting at. And if you can't see what I'm getting at, I don't think you can fully understand what a war veteran, or those who wage war against decay each, and every day, would try to explain had they the opportunity to create a show like Star Trek. I'm pretty sure I only have an inkling of what Roddenberry went through. It may be enough. It may not.

Whatever Roddenberry tried to communicate though, because of what he experienced, not many people are going to get the message. Rick Berman MAY have had some idea, due to his life. Then again, he may not have.

It is possible that, due to my experiences, I may understand some of what Roddenberry was trying to talk about. Trying to communicate with people about it who DON'T have certain experiences, or certain lines of thought...

Well, I already know that people here think Discovery can be salvaged. Sure it can. Get a war veteran in--or people in the practical sciences, with a background in criminal law. Get the FBI to write it. :P Otherwise, no. No chance.

Frozen fingers. Eyesight failing. Gotta go.
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Astronut7
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 3:16pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G, @Chrome.
Already examined, and considered. What is Jewish culture without the law of the Torah? Not much, I'm afraid, merely random window dressing. Same kind of thing with a Catholic, or Islam.
Now, I'm not saying that they would know about the laws of the country they were in (in this case, the US of A). But Jewish culture is built on law, with a long history of it. It would me remiss of me not to consider that Rick Berman would have been affected by it, particularly...ooh. From 1945 onwards, when he was born.

I do not find it credible that such a man would not have been affected by the Jewish upbringing, particularly when, and where he was raised. Unless perhaps, your relatives are of the same age, from the same area?

I can't say much for what many Jews of today are like I suspect that for many, the meaning of "Jewish" is the same as "Christian"--not much, if anything. But Rick Berman is 72. Gene Roddenberry was born in 1921.

Sorry, but this is a case where personal experience of "No, I know people of group X who aren't like that TODAY" doesn't mean a lot. It is definitely quite possible that Rick Berman was not affected in any way by Jewish culture, or of the time he grew up in, and wasn't told or ever seriously discussed what is called the COMMANDMENTS. I do, however, consider it unlikely. Therefore I must go on the limited information I have.

Furthermore, my core argument is quite solid. You are focusing on an ancillary point at best. All that would need to be emphasized instead, was that regardless of my attempt to show there may be some background where the two could find common ground, Star Trek Nemesis was utter crap, and Rick Berman let that happen, along with the other TNG movies. I was only attempting to find common ground in order to fully consider YOUR argument that Rick Berman could actually produce Star Trek without missing the message entirely.

Be very careful about what you think MY argument is based on. I can turn on a dime, if my argument falls apart. You don't seem to be able to.
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Astronut7
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 2:53pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Chrome
Sorry, but theory is not tangible. What my rather simple theory does is make a few predictions. Should those predictions be accurate, then my theory may be more correct than what has gone before. Should they be falsified, then I will have to change my theory, not the facts.

You are not demonstrating to me that Rick Berman definitely had insufficient contact with the fields of law or practical science or the importance of life for Gene Roddenberry and Rick Berman to find common ground. Nor are you demonstrating that the creators of Discovery had any experience at all in these areas. Nor are you explaining how Rick Berman and Gene Roddenberry could both write Star Trek, whereas the Discovery team cannot.

My theory is quite falsifiable. I also am aware of alternatives. Now how about you provide your theories, hmm?

Now, as for Harry Mudd. He was left to die because Captain Lorca was sadistic, and wanted revenge. He was too dangerous to take with them, so the practical military option would have been a mercy kill. Leaving him behind was far darker than leaving him dead. Harry Mudd is also a proven murderer, on multiple counts, showing no awareness or remorse or real repentance for what he had done.

Later, in TOS, he took up the sex trade. Basically Discovery teaches us that it's okay to let unrepentant mass-murderers, liars, thieves, and morally bankrupt individuals walk free, regardless of the consequences to anyone else. How's that for dark?
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Astronut7
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 2:39pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.
That was a heavy hand? In the last couple of days I've been explaining to a Microsoft affiliate that their website didn't have their Terms and Conditions, copyright, or other legal paperwork sorted out, and that losing or deleting records of personal intellectual property on a user's personal profile is not legal, and their terms, and conditions didn't actually cover that, whilst the moderator was shutting down my ability to do so, and lying about what they had done. They've now revised their Terms and Conditions, and stopped hindering my efforts to communicate with them. Jammer, on the other hand, HAS got everything organized, which doesn't say much for the affiliate in question.

All I can say is that if that's an example of Jammer taking a heavy hand, then Jammer has managed to foster a community that is very respectful of him.

Star Trek covers a lot of ground that is alien or not desirable to us in the 21st century. For example, TNG's first episode made it quite clear that personal privacy was not something that Starfleet particularly valued, with the holodeck, and the computer tracking everyone--and anyone's details could be accessed, for various reasons, including certain holodeck fantasies. However, personal space to think was valued.

Nor were there such things as copyright, there being no monetization of such. Information was offered freely, and not destroyed, or hidden, except when lives were on the line. People sat down to talk about their problems, because that was what was needed.

However, there was such a thing as Copy Right--as if things are not copied correctly, mishaps occur. This is a universal law. This is also something we find in human law, even when people have waived their financial rights to the thoughts they have created. Furthermore, deleting records of anything is not something that any scientific, legal, or investigative process would do, because the future cannot be predicted, and it is not known when something that got deleted may be useful as valuable evidence later on.

Therefore, whilst moderators are quite confident, and often correct in their rights today, I'm curious, would Star Trek have things like moderators, which have the power to delete or hide information, in circumstances nowhere near as serious as the one Data was in, in the TNG episode "Clues"?

Sorry Jammer. I hope that I can continue the discussion, where appropriate, with OmicronThetaDeltaPhi, and Peter G, and Chrome, and other members of this community, about Star Trek, and Star Trek values. Because I think that what people like Roddenberry tried to teach is a) simple, b) relevant to our lives, and c) not something that should be avoided.

If Roddenberry tried to teach values like Science, and Law Enforcement, and the value of Life, and seeking understanding, then there is no discussion or topic or place whatsoever that Star Trek's message does not touch. If these things were NOT taught in Star Trek--if Star Trek does NOT try to teach us values like these, then I can only conclude that Star Trek is a hollow fantasy not worth anyone's time.

I don't know. But I suspect what Roddenberry tried to do was the former, and what Discovery does is the latter. Hopefully I have not caused offence.
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Astronut7
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 1:05pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.
Law Zero is don't die. I also emphasized that we have to be aware that we almost certainly will, and have to act in full knowledge of that, rather than trying to forget at every opportunity. We have to go forth boldly, and take some risks in the short term, because otherwise we will fail utterly in the long term. That's laws one, and two. Where have I left Star Trek behind?

Also, no. Look at "Where no man has gone before." Kirk was supposedly a studious type, that couldn't get a girl, according to his friend. How Kirk was written was very different to how Shatner eventually filled, and took over the role, and then the ego took over the show as well. When I said "took over" I did NOT mean that there was another actor playing Kirk...before J.J Abram's Trek, anyway.

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@OmicronDeltaThetaPhi
Ah...no. People who know me better have a habit of accusing me of blaming other people, rather than myself. What I do is look at all the factors that may have caused the situation, and figure out what each person could do better if something like this occurs again. That involves a lot of critical examination of other people ("blaming others") and also a lot of self-examination, and soul-searching. I was furious with myself at the time.

The emphasis is not "what I could have done better"--it is "how can I do better, AND what can other people do better for next time." Thanks for the support, though. Glad you're doing okay, too.

Right. How is Star Trek not happy? Well, the thing is, how do you react when someone else tells YOU that YOU need to CHANGE. You need to change the way you do things RIGHT NOW. BEFORE it's too late. You need to behave THIS way. Not the way you do. What YOU are doing is ALL wrong. [Just for an example]

My first reaction would be to say "Heck no! I don't need to change! I'm fine [At this point my brain kicks in, but others would continue] just the way I am! How dare YOU tell me that I need to change my behaviour? You hypocrite! You're no better than me. How dare YOU tell me this. You're not my boss. You don't pay me! Your opinion isn't better than mine, and you can't prove that I'm wrong. You have no respect for other people's opinions! [And so on, and so on, and so on. [Remember, this is an example.]

Now, one of the things I personally have to be careful with, and I've only figured it out relatively recently, is if I use the pronouns "I" and "You" the person listening to me (or reading my comments) tends to take it as a personal attack on them, because I have views very different from them, and I'm quite adamant about them, even though there are many occasions when I actually take what the person says to me, and change my opinion based on that--although one complaint I have had is that I do this so quickly, the person on the other end is completely confused.

If I use the pronoun "we" the person listening to me is less likely to feel personally attacked. Another word is "mostly." I use "mostly" a lot. But it's useless, because the people I'm talking to hear the word mostly, and then when I ask them to repeat what I've said, they think I've said "All."

So, when I said "we" in regards to "we don't do better" I'm not ignoring the fact that there are some few who DO try to do better AND understand how to do better today. However, it is psychologically, and physically dangerous for me to consider myself a person who is better than others. "We don't do better" might be depressing. But not if it's followed up by, "We should. Therefore to those who are prepared for it: we MUST do better. We CAN do better. We WILL do better."

Try getting alcoholics, or drug-addicts to recognize that, if they want to have a particular job (astronaut, for example) they can't drink, smoke, or imbibe any form of mind-altering or bodily damaging substances. Try getting people to stop having sex before marriage, because marriage is supposed to be a legal way of ensuring that whatever happens during pregnancy, or transmission of disease, or in raising the child, there is a contract, and responsibility by the father, the mother, and the child to look after each other, when no one else can or will [yes, I know marriage usually doesn't work out like this.]

Try getting people to actually CHANGE their behaviour, and see how they react. They don't act pleased. Star Trek tries that, but because it's fiction, people can focus on the drama, and not how what it's trying to preach is actually relevant to them, and how people must change.

--So no. Star Trek is not a happy show, because what people WANT is to be able to have the cool starships, and lasers, and adventure, but without having to CHANGE their behaviour. Won't work. Anyone who tries to pull the stupid stunts that the people of Discovery pulled, they would be dead in space in five minutes flat. Look at the Apollo program--the best of the best, and yet NASA had three astronauts dead in a fire that consumed Apollo 1 before even getting into space.




Here's a question for everyone: do you think astronauts who actually go into space today behave more like the people on Star Trek Discovery, or more like some OTHER Star Trek series? What kind of behaviour does an astronaut need to have, that regular people just don't have?




Again, I said earlier--the point of science, and this is particularly relevant in human space exploration is: NO DRAMA. NO CONFLICT. SPACE IS TOO DEADLY FOR THAT. That's why TOS had a crew that conducted itself with some military/police force hierarchy. That's why TNG had a crew with the "NO CONFLICT" rule given to the writers.

Heck, DS9 did SOMETHING right, in the character of Odo. The interplay between Odo, and Quark was fantastic, and relevant to Star Trek's message, particularly because Odo was in a role that required scientific thought--that of an investigator, and law enforcer, and Quark was a smug, sneaky little rat who was extremely dangerous, because he encouraged others to act like he did. I liked Quark as a character, but on a space station his general behaviour warranted him being tossed out of the airlock.

In fact, EVERYWHERE in the universe is too dangerous for the kinds of behaviour that human beings regularly exhibit. We're on a little garden of Eden in the wilderness, and we're throwing rubbish all over it when we don't have any other place to go. Nice going humanity. Way to ruin it for the rest of us.
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Voyager started out with the same premise as DS9--limited resources, and a motley dysfunctional crew--but with a "clean slate" approach, with new aliens. It completely flunked the "NO CONFLICT" rule. Then it failed dismally at keeping that premise.

TNG was difficult to understand in the early seasons. Nor did it have the appropriate drama. Nor did it fully understand where Roddenberry was trying to take it. Heck, even Roddenberry didn't understand where he was taking it. I'm betting he was trying to figure it out when surrounded by people who didn't want experimentation; they wanted nice, safe, profitable drama.

For example: Jammer asked what the point of "The Naked Now" was. Why did it air second, showing the characters acting out of character, when we hadn't gotten to know them yet?

Because in the military, and police force, or possibly when pursuing a relationship, when you want to know about someone's innermost character quickly, rather than trying to find out when they're professional, you GET THEM DRUNK.

Heck, in the unaired pilot episode TOS "The Cage" Pike and crew were shown responding to a "tense" situation with professionalism, then afterwards the Doctor, and Captain, retired to the Captain's quarters, and the Doctor said that he needed to do a "medical examination" then decanted a bottle--because for medical health, a Captain's Doctor must know what's REALLY going on the Captain's head, and there's no way that can be done whilst the Captain is completely sober, trying to act professionally.

However, Jammer, an excellent reviewer of drama, completely failed to understand the military, police, medical, engineering or other high-stress professional culture, and actually had to ask why TNG aired the characters acting "out of character" as the second episode.


In TNG's early seasons, there are plenty of references, and logical deductions that the viewer is expected to make, as if the viewer were part of the scientific, law, medical, engineering, or other culture that used science, like farmers, plumbers, or builders. Not stupid American businessmen, or bureaucrats, or the average couch potato.

Voyager had NONE of those. It was by NO means a clone of TNG. Not to mention that Janeway was written almost schizophrenically. Voyager had the same problem that later seasons of TNG had--which were simply a more polished attempt at cloning TNG's rough, not-quite-comprehensible early two seasons.

Come on. Even the Borg were introduced in Season Two of TNG--before the writer's strike. Seasons One, and Two of TNG were a goldmine of ideas, that Voyager, and latter seasons of TNG plundered. Remember "Conspiracy" TNG actually HAD the balls to show what would happen if the Dominion showed up--it was so ballsy that the head-explosion scene had to be censored.

As I said before in a previous comment. Season One and Two of TOS had the ideas, and established the message of Star Trek. So did Season One and Two of TNG. All the other series either tried to subvert that message, head back to the nice safe, profitable drama, or simply rehashed, and polished up what had been done in those seasons.

Voyager TRIED to be a clone of TNG. But it was a copy of a copy, and it degraded badly. DS9 tried to subvert TNG, and it didn't actually work.

TNG is the series, along with TOS, with the incomprehensible, strange new worlds, inclusive of the balls to shoot that nasty alien in the head with so much firepower that it exploded in [it actually had to be censored] gore.
------------------------------

As for what happens when something is too powerful for them? Picard answered that in "Encounter at Farpoint."

Starfleet would run. It would save as many as it could, but it would run. Then if it couldn't have diplomacy, or flight, or battling it out was suicide: IT WOULD SURRENDER, and beg for mercy, using wisdom, and patience to find any way, any way at all, in which they could protect what had to be protected.

Picard answered that again, and again, and again. Kirk did it too. If he couldn't succeed in diplomacy, he would fight so that they could run, NOT to win. He would run, putting his life on the line to save the civilians. Then on his knees he would beg for the lives of his crew.

When the odds were too great, Picard ran. He bluffed. He begged. He cajoled. He persuaded. He argued. He pleaded. He surrendered. All that in the very first episode of TNG, because Q was TOO POWERFUL for the Enterprise.

So. What are you talking about? TNG already had the balls to answer the question that Deep Space Nine tried to answer. It did so in the very first episode, and again across the first two seasons. Which is why I got rather perplexed when the movies changed Picard's character so much. Because after all that happened in the very first half-hour of TNG, Picard shrugged it off, and told his newly arrived first officer Riker that "We had a little adventure on our way here."

Picard, and the Enterprise, were prepared--prepared to face the universe with completely inadequate firepower. Picard tried to say that they were nothing special. This is how humanity behaves in the 24th century.

In order to tell a dramatic story, Deep Space Nine (and many times in TNG) the writers had to completely retcon that premise.

I'm not saying that Deep Space Nine was a bad show, or that I didn't enjoy it (I did). But it was a dramatic series. In order to be a dramatic series, it had to completely undermine the premise of how humans were supposed to be behaving in the 24th century.

Voyager practically ALWAYS had overwhelming firepower, compared to what was in the Delta Quadrant. I can't remember any situation in which they actually talked their way out, instead of trying to shoot or technobabble their way out, and show how superior they were in THAT way. Maybe I'm remembering it wrong. It's been a while since I watched it, and there were very few stand-out episodes that I recall.

Oh, that's right. The alien warp-twisting thing. They tried everything, then surrendered to the inevitable. Ooh. The back-up Doctor episode, in which the historians were convinced that Voyager was a warship with far more guns than it actually had. Seven of Nine was an...interesting character. The warp factor 10 lizard baby episode...ugh. The "Counterpoint" episode, which was great.

Oh good grief. Looking at the list of episodes. Spatial Anomaly. Temporal Anomaly. Holodeck episode. Spatial Anomaly. Temporal Anomaly. Holodeck episode. NOW I remember why I thought Voyager was bland. It had a FORMULA. TNG had coming of age stories, law stories, medical stories, engineering stories, what it means to be human stories, learning, learning, learning, and ALSO temporal, spatial or holodeck anomaly episodes. Voyager had drama, technobabble, technobabble, lasers, technobabble, technobabble, oh look, sexy lady, technobabble, oh well, time to end it with Janeway from the future and lasers!

Voyager was fun, but bland.

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"Again, we must BOLDLY go forth, with fear, and understanding of the consequences, to find STRANGE NEW LIFE, as well as worlds, and civilizations, lest we decay, and die."

As for me putting the above in such a depressing way--if people can't follow this advice when it sounds depressing, they have no chance at all of being able to follow this instruction when bored, or when things get tough. Go into space for adventure, and excitement--go into the military, or the police force, or the medical profession, or engineering, or any practical field where lives are on the line with the attitude that it's for the feelings it gives, and people that can't hack it will die, or get those around them killed, or both.

Now, I can honestly say that I wouldn't be able to make it in space. No chance. That's why I'm "Astronut7" not "Astronaut7." I can barely make it here, in this Eden. So yes, I AM out to ruin people's fun. Thoughtless fun gets people killed, or otherwise accelerates the decay. Have fun AFTER the thinking. We can do far, far better than what we are currently doing, but not if people persist in behaving the way they do now.

No, I don't think we should have any shame in enjoying the journey. We should absolutely enjoy the journey. But what most people don't seem to realize is that joy is NOT happiness. Happiness is short-term. Joy is long-term. Short-term planners can't have joy. Sorry. Not for you. Joy is a long-term planner's reward only--those who plan for the future with a specific mindset--a practically minded scientific one. No short-term self-destructive prats allowed.

Yes, I am being very smug right now. I get to ruin a certain type of person's stupid fun, and I am completely justified in doing so. You can tell why I like Odo so much.
---------------------------------------------------------

@Chrome
Yes...understood. My family is also quite diverse, including an uncle that's Islamic on Fridays, Jewish on Saturdays, and Christian on Sundays, so he can get time off on all three days.

I'm not kidding about my Uncle. He's actually tried that whilst overseas. However, it can be safely assumed, that when the all-pervasive Wiki mentions a Jewish family without saying "secular", it probably meant that certain customs, traditions, and laws prominently featured. Whether Rick Berman accepted them, or rejected them, or ignored them I don't know. But he PROBABLY experienced them. I already thought I made it clear that this was guesswork.

Rick Berman was executive producer of shows such as MacGyver, and Space (about the space program). He was involved with such projects such as the Primal Mind, and the Emmy-Award winning children's series Big Blue Marble. He made documentaries and industrial films. I already stated that he had no where near the experiences of Roddenberry, but he definitely had some contact with scientific thinking, and had some glimpse of the background of Roddenberry, or those like him, so he had a smidgen of understanding that Discovery lacks.

That's just after a couple of minutes of research.

I'm all for giving other people a go. But I'm stating, if people want Star Trek, and not...whatever Discovery is...something pretty to watch whilst the brain is switched off, for those who have a high tolerance of poorly thought-out Klingon culture.

I like some of Discovery. I like the opening sequence. I like the production value. I liked Captain Georgiu. I liked Captain Lorca. I liked Saru. But every time Discovery does something even remotely right in terms of characters or plot, or in values being taught, I had to wade through mountains of sewage.

Kill Harry Mudd! What is wrong with you! You're supposed to be the dark, morally ambiguous Captain! Don't leave him to suffer, don't pander to the pseudo-moral high ground prats. Kill him! Oh, right. He's evil alternate-universe one. Therefore stupid. Plus the timeline wouldn't allow it.

Oh NOOOOO! Not the alternate universe AGAIN. That's the big-reset button, type three. The one where literally nothing matters, anything goes, and the writers can have all the drama they want without having it mean anything, or any lessons being learned along the way.

Not to mention the Spore Drive itself, and anything involving it.

Again, and again, I'll keep saying this, until something sticks:

Discovery fell right at the starting line, when it disobeyed the Prime Directive for no other reason than because they could. No forethought. Very little planning. Just cocky, I-know-something-you-don't smugness. They also saved the aliens in the worst way possible--failing to teach them how to prevent the disaster the NEXT time around, leaving them to depend on mysterious saviours when NEXT time, there wouldn't be anyone just happening to wander by. It failed to recover from that first misstep, even though it rose to the stellar heights of "A somewhat enjoyable eye-pleasing show. I've seen better."

To reiterate, and repeat, until something gets through: we must BOLDLY go forth, with fear, and understanding of the consequences, to find STRANGE NEW LIFE, as well as worlds, and civilizations, lest we decay, and die. If we don't think about or discuss these things every day, regardless of how uncomfortable a topic they may be, we will decay, and die due to living in an entropic universe. If we uphold human laws, above the quest to find the universal truths--if we preserve our fantasies, at the expense of life, and truth, and hope--then we will decay, and die, and there will be no salvation for any of us. Because heaven is what we build here, and now, for ourselves, and those that come after us. Not some ethereal other place. We do not do this for short-term happiness, or because we feel we're "better." We do this because we must, through many trials, and much loss, and we take joy in it--not as our due, but as a welcome, unexpected reward for a job well-done.
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Astronut7
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 4:47am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@OmicronDeltaThetaPhi
Deep Space Nine is one of my favourite series, for the characters, and drama--but not for science fiction. I don't know where people got the idea that TNG characters were perfect. They were a walking disaster, and weren't particularly well trained or good at their jobs. But unlike us, they tried to do better, and they had at least learned SOME things we haven't today. Picard was a profoundly thoughtful character, yes, but not perfect by any means. As for why I included Voyager in the mix, well...read my comment prior to this one. It was by no means a TNG clone. Nor did it remain true to its ideals. *Cough* Trapped in Delta Quadrant, with limited resources. *Cough.* TNG was all about how we remain true to UNIVERSAL Law, Truth, Science, Life, and Hope, in the far more difficult situation of nigh-unlimited resources. *Cough* Q. *Cough*

The Next Generation was supposed to be AFTER a series which had ALREADY SHOWN what the Federation was capable of doing with limited resources, and its ideals--in TOS, on the frontier. All other series are just retreading old ground (to varying levels of success) which has already been covered in TOS, with Kirk, Spock, Scotty, McCoy as lead characters--with a Captain, a Jewish lawyer/scientist, an Engineer, a Doctor, a Nurse [supposed to be Number One, before certain meddling happened], a Communications specialist, a Weapons Officer, and a Pilot.

Not moronic, suicidal fools pursuing money, and adventure, and ecstasy (religious or otherwise), and some self-important delusion about how interference without thought or due, careful consideration, is always a good thing. Key phrase, there: "without thought, or due, careful consideration." The Prime Directive does NOT read "No interference with lesser civilizations under any circumstances." Or at least, it DIDN'T read that. I'm not sure when it changed.

No. It's far more difficult to maintain the moral high ground when you have all the guns--such as money, media, nukes, population, economic resources, and actual guns. Countries such as the US of A [Pick an actual name for the country which isn't two continents or a pronoun, for crying out loud. Also if you want to be United, drop the plurality of "States"], Russian Federation [hacking, lying, murdering reporters], and People's Republic of China [Worker Drone's Republic?], are the ones which have the biggest problem in this area today, because they are the countries with the most resources to do or encourage evil. That's NOT to say that poor people can't be evil. Just that far more damage is done by the rich.

Wrote my previous reply before I had seen yours. Still relevant--this is just another addition to the comment which should be immediately prior to this one.

Again, we must BOLDLY go forth, with fear, and understanding of the consequences, to find STRANGE NEW LIFE, as well as worlds, and civilizations, lest we decay, and die. If we don't think about or discuss these things every day, regardless of how uncomfortable a topic they may be, we will decay, and die due to living in an entropic universe. If we uphold human laws, above the quest to find the universal truths--if we preserve our fantasies, at the expense of life, and truth, and hope--then we will decay, and die, and there will be no salvation for any of us. Because heaven is what we build here, and now, for ourselves, and those that come after us. Not some ethereal other place. Hope this makes sense.
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Astronut7
Fri, Jun 1, 2018, 2:02am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Chrome
Actually, a quick look at the Wikipedia page shows that Rick Berman:
a) Came from a Jewish family--and for me, Jewish culture has a strong reputation of upholding, discussing, and maintaining the law.
b) Travelled all over the world, and made his way as an INDEPENDENT producer, turning down, or dismissing options open to him which he considered as having a low probability of success.
c) Wrote industrial and documentary films for clients such as the United Nations, and the United States Information Agency.

The backgrounds don't look similar at first glance, but because I was looking for whether or not Rick Berman had a background in "law" and "science"--well, it quite clearly shows he had at least some experience in dealing with it. Not nearly as much as Roddenberry, but enough to at least maintain some of the soul (the ideas) of Star Trek, for quite some time...although later series showed that whatever experience he once had, it got buried.

No offence intended to Alex Kurtzman, and Bryan Fuller, the creators of Star Trek Discovery, but even though Bryan Fuller is an avid Star Trek fan, with experience in writing Star Trek, and Alex Kurtzman is also an experienced producer from a Jewish family (the article states a secular Jewish family, so probably less of an emphasis on Jewish laws)--neither of them seem to have any major experience or training in the fields of LAW and SCIENCE. They ARE very experienced in writing or producing DRAMA and ACTION.

Gene Roddenberry HAD the scientific, medical, engineering, and law enforcement experience, with the training, and the very real experience of dealing with death, and personal responsibility for taking, and being unable to save lives.

Rick Berman had some experience WRITING for scientific documentaries, and the worldwide experience, and grew up in a family that I suspect emphasized laws.

Discovery's head team has NEITHER the training or experience, or particular way of thinking that is required in order to teach people the lessons that Star Trek is famous for teaching--from the information I have gleaned.
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@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi

I'll answer the most important question first.

"Why is it that people almost never stop to think about their online behavior, until someone pulls the "suicide" trump card?"

This is an endemic problem, not just with online behaviour, but with offline behaviour as well. I think it's due to the fact that most people try to AVOID thinking about death, and pain, and loss, and injury, and decay, except under extreme circumstances. These are uncomfortable subjects. I understand that, and I sympathize.

However, I cannot, and will not empathize with these people. [Just a quick note, because I personally get confused about sympathy and empathy--sympathy is "I feel sorry for your situation", empathy is "I feel the same way you do", and understanding requires neither sympathy nor empathy, but is the one we need when dealing with a problem--to STAND UNDER the problem, as if it is about to fall directly on your head--to think about what it would take to walk a mile in someone else's shoes.]

----I have just been reminded that standard business practice, at the end of the financial year, is to spend any excess savings on absolutely anything whatsoever, in order to get the full budget at the start of the next financial year, which would be only weeks or days away. This actively encourages short-term thinking in business, and many make unwise purchases during this time, without the appropriate forethought or consideration, which eventually cripple or bankrupt their business, and possibly even their personal finances, within a few years. Monetary practices like this are stupid, and dangerous, and anathema to long-term planners.----

This is the kind of thinking that is endemic in this world. This is the kind of thinking that PRACTICAL science--engineers, doctors, nurses, police, technicians, lawyers or judges or lawmakers involved in dealing with criminal law, pilots, captains, security personnel, maintenance, environmentalists, and the poor sods who wrote books like the ones in the scathingly cynical but horribly misused Biblical collection--or Lord of the Rings, or the Foundation Trilogy, or even Shakespeare, and people who have seen far too much death, and decay, would like obliterated.

Now, I can't say that Roddenberry's Star Trek is a particularly optimistic look at the future, funnily enough. I CAN say that Roddenberry fully intended to do an author insert.

Captain Pike, and Captain Kirk (before Shatner took over the role), and Captain Picard (before the movies)--are clearly representative of Gene Roddenberry himself, if you know about Gene Roddenberry's early life. Benjamin Sisko definitely had something of that. Janeway didn't--and honestly, aside from "Counterpoint", I didn't think much of the writing of her character. Archer definitely didn't. Burnham's character is extremely suicidal, and acts on hearsay, and prejudice--and the one character who actually showed EVIDENCE of having a decent head on their shoulders a) turned out to be evil, b) didn't kill Harry Mudd like he should have, regardless of the timeline, and c) recruited Burnham, and other people who acted on prejudice.

Or at least, Picard, Pike, and Kirk are representative of what Roddenberry wished he could become. If I were writing Star Trek, I'd be thinking about what I was writing. What I was writing for. What my audience was. What did I wish to communicate?

The audience--would quite naturally, be people like me--and I'm careful, if not to the extent of being stingy, with my finances so good luck getting me to pay for Star Trek Discovery before I've watched it, or now that I've found it not worth paying for. I went out and bought the box sets of TNG, and TOS instead (and then ran out of disposable income, so paying for the Rick Berman series will have to wait).

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I'm very glad that you are still alive, OmicronThetaDeltaPhi. What I was concerned about was not that you were so weak-willed that you would contemplate suicide simply because people didn't agree with you. I was VERY concerned about the fact that I have no idea what ELSE is going on in your life. Therefore, this could have been "THE STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMEL'S BACK." [Sorry, that's supposed to be italicized.]

Let me give you a relevant example from my life to put my care in writing into perspective. At one time, I didn't contact a friend through letter correspondence. Due to certain circumstances, I didn't know what to say, so I left it for a long time. I was specifically told I needed to write a letter, but I refused to do it, because it was too painful, and I couldn't be bothered. When I finally wrote, I received a letter back from the family essentially saying "Thank you for your letter, but your friend died some months ago. They had nothing left to live for."
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I'll be damned if I make that mistake again. Sure, if I had written the letter, it probably wouldn't have made a difference, but it MAY have. I can, and will assign blame to other people, but not without reminding myself of what I must do in the future, to prevent the same thing from happening again. Every time we send or fail to send a letter. Every time we receive one. Regardless of what the means of communication is--online, on blogs, through comment sections, being the ones relevant here--people are on the other end, and what we say matters.

I have no idea what is going on in anyone else's life here. The same in that you (shouldn't) have any idea what's going on in mine. But every time I write--or don't write, as the case may be, I am very concerned about the consequences.




All Good Things in this world are based on the understanding that refusal to do the right thing, the right thing according to the UNIVERSAL laws (such as the law of gravity, or electromagnetism, or the nuclear forces), will result in our DECAY, DEATH, or DESTRUCTION.

Furthermore, we have no idea what those laws are, so all we can do is CONSTANTLY test our human laws, trying to figure out whether they correspond to the UNIVERSAL law of LIFE.

Does this make sense? If I were to write the Three Laws of Life, like Newton's Three Laws of Motion, they would look something like this:

LAW ZERO: Don't Die. Refusal to follow these laws causes decay over time, followed by total destruction.
LAW ONE: Think, and observe, and record, and act, with every fiber of your being, every second of every day, all the days of your life, about how not to EVER die (even though the probability of success in this endeavour is small, there may be some tiny hope, hope of enduring, and hope of being saved by those that endure).
LAW TWO: Find all resources, and all people, within your sphere of influence, in whatever form they may be in, that may be able to assist in this endeavour, and assist THEM also, if they share it, by protecting them AS you would yourself.

There are no other laws than these. All leaders. All people. All life must follow these laws, as by law zero, refusal to follow these laws will eventually, over time, end in annihilation.



So, these are the stakes. Trying to talk about things which don't deal with preventing death, and decay won't work, because that's just fantasy, and people too wrapped up in their fantasies cause decay, and death. Trying to say that something like Star Trek is supposed to be about awe and wonder and exploration won't work.

Awe and wonder is what HAPPENS when we explore with a particular mindset--a practical, scientific one, in which we understand that we may die, and we are going to do our very best not to do so. It is not WHY we explore.

"To BOLDLY go." Not to simply "Go." Go forth with the understanding that we may die, but also that cowering in fear won't help us live. We explore, in the hope that we can find better ways to live.

The very nature of evil is insidious. It is simply being so wrapped up in a fantasy that thoughtless actions occur, resulting in decay, and death. It is a result of defending that fantasy, regardless of the consequences. Evil cannot live. Evil cannot even exist without parasitising life. To live for long, we must eradicate evil within ourselves. It's as simple as that. Naturally, of course, the first step that evil took, was to turn the very word "evil" into a joke, confusing people about what it actually is. It's not comic-book villains. It's committed by average, normal people, like ourselves, every single day. But evil, stupid, thoughtless, deluded people, state that if we're "normal" we can't be evil.

Again, we must "Boldly" go forth to find strange new worlds, new LIFE, and civilizations--where no man has gone before. No man has succeeded in this enterprise. There are only those that have endured it, and learned from it. Can we?

Courage is not courage without fear of death. Death is a strange, alien concept that people refuse to seriously discuss, or even think about, or in any way try and act in the face of it. Most of us have no courage.

I have no courage. I have already failed too many times. Each day I am terrified, because I understand the risks. There is no heaven but that which we build here on this green Earth. There is no "other" place for us to go to. We disintegrate, we die, and we lose ALL hope of being able to change our fate or destiny. We don't get nothingness or peace. We fall to PIECES. Death is NOT an option I am willing to take. Decay, and Death, is what I fight.

And the only "God" that half the world claims to worship, is one which very clearly according to the actual writings, not what the various religions claim is in them, is forgiving of failure, but not of suicidal idiocy, or those who thoughtlessly cause suffering, which is done by most people, including myself. I can't consider myself a Christian, or a Jew, or Islamic, or a Buddhist, or a follower of Confucius, or any of those groups, because those groups mainly consist of the same morons that would thoughtlessly crucify or let others crucify someone who only helped people live, regardless of whether or not these "Jesus"--or "Moses" or "Confucius" or "Buddha" characters ever historically existed--because I can't know for certain that they did or didn't exist, as science doesn't provide certainty, but those sort of situations are very definitely something that would, and does happen, here, today. What those individuals (characters?) said, and did, definitely were things worth following.

I don't know where people got the idea that the "God" character in the Bible or Koran has infinite power, and knowledge. The most important, I can understand. The one from which all living beings have no power without, I can understand. The one which we are dead without, I can understand. But the actions of this "God" in the Testaments are emblematic of someone who had to use their brain because they have LIMITED power, and knowledge, and must use it sparingly, and WISELY, and thus is a very good example for us to follow as a spirit or as a human being. Not an omnipotent, omnicognisant being like Q, who is definitely not a good example to follow.

Don't even get me started on the people that I see every day. The people that thoughtlessly eat bad food, and drink, and do things which are guaranteed to cause more work for doctors, and nurses, and eventually result in death by stupidity for themselves and others. The people who manage properties, who think it's okay to lie to others about termite damage, and a rusted roof, and dry rot, and infestations, and lack of structural integrity, and cracked chimneys, and broken pipes, and poor foundations. The people who don't bother to maintain their own possessions--their body, their home, their car, and cause more problems for the engineers, and maintenance personnel who must do these things for them. The people who assume it's okay to steal from others--their identity, their information, their physical possessions, their very lives. The people who even refuse to allow or assist in providing others with the basic necessities of life--good food, good water, good shelter, good light, good air, and good foundations to work from. The people who aren't even bothered about finding these things for themselves, as they have far more important fantasies to break a leg or die for.
----

Sorry. Little frustrated. But again, courage is not courage without fear of death. Without fear, and understanding, and thinking about death, and decay, and how best to live long, and prosper, each second of every day, all the days of our lives, we will CAUSE death, and accelerate the decay, for ourselves, and others.

We live in an entropic universe. This is not an issue ANYONE can put aside for another day--it must be dealt with EVERY day.

We must BOLDLY go to seek out strange new LIFE. Otherwise, we ourselves cannot be certain of living. Awe and wonder may happen a result. But space, like many practical things, is mostly battling boredom, interspersed with moments of sheer terror. Don't do it for the excitement--you'll just end up dying, and getting those around you killed.

Star Trek is NOT a happy universe about looking for awe, and wonder. It was created by someone who was trying to show people that there is a better way, than what we do. Gene Roddenberry, like others, quite clearly viewed the 20th/21st century Western World, and "American businessmen" in the same way that the Ferengi were depicted. He saw the Ferengi as the most dangerous enemy in Star Trek, because chaos (freedom without fear or thought of the consequences), and money, and too much spurious knowledge, and fantasies about climbing the social ladder, are the most dangerous things to science, and life. Most Star Trek fans just laughed. Yet the Ferengi style of thinking is what has destroyed Star Trek--not the Borg, or the Klingons. The Federation could hold out against the Borg, and the Klingons. It fell to the Dominion, and the Ferengi, for one fostered an inability to trust, or seek understanding. The other fostered a love of money.

We must BOLDLY go forth, with courage. Not without fear of the consequences. Because if we do not, we decay, and die. Hope this makes sense. I know it's an uncomfortable subject. But we have to deal with what we have been given. We must decide what to do with the time given to us. Ignoring the problem, and pursuing feel-good consequence-free fantasies, is not the answer to that.
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Astronut7
Thu, May 31, 2018, 7:01am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G., @Jammer
Just a quick addendum.

Gene Roddenberry, early life.
--Police science at college.
--Aeronautical Engineer.
--Pilot with 87 combat missions in the United States Airforce. 1942-1945, Pacific Theatre of War.
--As a pilot, crashed plane on landing. Bombardier, and Navigator Dead.
--Absolved of blame, went on to become plane crash investigator.
-- Two more plane crashes, once as passenger, once flying third officer for Pan-Am. Dragged people out of the burning plane with two broken ribs. Organized the group to scout for help. Fourteen people dead. Resigned from Pan-Am. Note that the plane went down in the Syrian Desert.
--Signed up for the Los Angeles Police.
--Starting writing. Promoted diversity, and diplomacy, and law, and scientific thought, through his writings.

What kind of show would someone who went through all of this write? Does Discovery meet those standards? Heck, does it have anyone who experienced events like these on the writing team? Would a person like this get along with writers who want to write drama?

Why would a person like this wish to explore strange new worlds? To seek out new life and civilizations? To boldly go where no one has gone before?

What would a person like this be looking for? Aside from exotic women. This is Roddenberry we're talking about. :P
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Astronut7
Wed, May 30, 2018, 11:23pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.
I have a little extra time, so I'm back for a moment. Yeah, I didn't mean to be passive-aggressive, either. Sorry about that, too. No worries from this end.

As long as we're both understanding that communication between people is a big problem, and that words like "science" are tricky. I used to live in Canada--the Maritimes, and near the Thousand Islands. Had a long holiday in Quebec, too. So, in my experience, "science" really doesn't mean the same thing across all or even most of North America.

What I find I have to do, is get an individual to express what they think a word like "science" or "listen" or "law" means, and how they arrived at that conclusion--then, once they've done that, I can do the same thing for how I arrived at my conclusion. If someone is focused on how a word should be used, rather than what an individual is trying to express using that word...problems occur.

For example, that linguistics professor I mentioned was completely convinced that the word "listen" ALWAYS meant that the person listening should do what the speaker said. I had to explain to that individual that yes, that's true SOME of the time, but people can also "listen for a sound", and it doesn't mean they have to do what the sound says. That professor was adamant that "listen" must not be used in any other way. I can only conclude that the professor arrived at that conclusion, likely because of certain personal issues with students. Unfortunately, the linguistics professor wasn't listening, in the sense that my advice was not heeded--perhaps because they were listening for signs of obedience, and weren't finding them. Fortunately, I'm not a student of that individual.

Yes, Star Trek is about exploring strange NEW worlds. However, this is why I'm linking the concepts of "science" and "law" together.

Human law is NOT a fixed entity. It can't be, because we don't know what the UNIVERSAL laws are. Science CAN be described as a type of thinking; a particular act of cognition. There's the formalized, bureaucratic procedure linked to that. There's also the large body of knowledge linked to that.

But without the particular act of cognition exhibited by certain individuals like Galileo, neither the scientific knowledge we have, nor the scientific procedures we have, would exist.

That particular type of cognition is INVALUABLE in law, and in encountering strange NEW worlds. Because the procedures we have aren't perfect. The laws we've created aren't perfect. The body of knowledge we have is so small compared to what's out there.

The universe sets the LAW. We must find out what that LAW is, and we have all these little laws--scientific, or societal, that must constantly be re-examined and TESTED. How better to test these ideas, than by exploring strange new worlds? How better to be protected, than by finding out what the universal laws actually are, and whether our human laws could be improved?
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Astronut7
Wed, May 30, 2018, 1:58pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.
Or at least, I would sign off, if I didn't spot that comment.

Look mate, what I'm saying is that people use the word in different ways, and don't realize it. If you talk to people outside your social circle, you'll find far too many people who couldn't tell you what the scientific method was if you wrote it down for them and explained it beforehand.

I'm also saying that some science is not particularly dependent on the current members, and organizations set up by the scientific community. If an apocalypse happened, and all of our knowledge, and infrastructure was lost--if people started over from scratch, you'd find some people that had a method of thinking that was scientific, and most people would have methods of thinking that got them into trouble.

Now, I've had this type of discussion before, with a linguistics professor, about the word "listen." It doesn't matter what you think the word means. The important thing you must recognize is that people in general use words in all kinds of ways, and that communication between these different people is very difficult when someone is being stubborn about how words should be used, instead of how to identify when words are being used differently.

I'm talking about a concept. Let's call it Concept X. You are talking about a different concept. You have also decided to call it Concept X. I'm familiar with the fact that the words "Concept X" may not mean the same thing to other people, but I'm still trying to relay to you what my concept is, and you're not helping by trying to say that I'm wrong by calling it "Concept X."

Now "Concept Science" covers least three different concepts. Much the same way that, to pick a random example, "cook" can refer to someone who cooks, or the action of cooking, or even a specific individual's name, like James Cook, the explorer. Not actually a random example. I'm hungry.

Star Trek is missing "Concept X." Stop telling me about your "Concept X", and how it doesn't mean mine.

Oh, and Discovery is a show which doesn't show much organization. Note the poor plot, and characters, and introduction of concepts which quite literally allow the Discovery to do practically anything with the spore drive.

And science? Physics covers interactions of objects. Humans are objects. Biology covers the reason for emotions, and the physical and mental reason for human behaviour.

"All science is either physics or stamp-collecting"--Ernest Rutherford. You can look up the science of knitting too if you want.

Another thing is the "wall of text". That phrase originally meant a literal wall of text with no formatting or punctuation whatsoever. What people tend to mean now when they say that, is that most are incapable, or unwilling to read or reply with the appropriate forethought, to long messages, and that the writer should be ashamed of putting so much effort into their message. I'm going to assume that you meant "I don't have the time right now"--which is fine--you don't have to reply, because I probably won't be able to read it until weeks down the line--instead of "Make your comments shorter for my convenience, irrespective of how much effort you put into trying to be clear, and cover various angles, so that confusion doesn't result"--like most people.

I'm not blaming you for this. All I'm trying to do is inform you that there is a problem, and it's a widespread problem, especially when people are about to sign legal documents, for example.

@Chrome
Um...Man Trap. Very first episode aired of TOS. Makes it clear that part of the Enterprise's mission is checking on outposts, and ensuring everything is up to par. That includes a person's medical health. That's law enforcement, kind of like the Sheriff or a Ranger in the Wild West. As for TNG, the Enterprise-D didn't venture outside of Starfleet territory much from what I recall--it mostly was concerned about exploring the extent of what was supposed to be WITHIN the Federation-protected space, and not say, within the Klingon Empire. Also there was a lot of border patrolling around the Neutral Zone.

That's law enforcement. Charging in with a fleet, all guns blazing--that's military, and not a particularly effective military at that.

Remember the differently coloured shirts. There were the command staff, which laid down the law. There were the engineers, which also laid down the law. There were the medical staff, which also lay down the law. There was also security, which enforced the law.

Sure, they were explorers. But Star Trek is about law enforcement, and extending the law to those who wish to be protected by it, and figuring out the extent of the law, and when it fails to cover the new circumstances, such as in "The Measure of a Man."

Star Wars is about fighting the enemy of the state, and being the enemy of a corrupt state. Star Trek is about law enforcement.

Now, I'm cold, I'm hungry, and I'm going to get something to eat, and warm up. Take the time to think, and discuss the points I've brought up among yourselves. I might be back. I might not. But surely I've given you enough material to keep you occupied for a while. Have fun.
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Astronut7
Wed, May 30, 2018, 12:56pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Chrome
I'll be honest with you. I watched some of the episode, then turned the TV off, amusingly enough. Like I said, I don't particularly like the Orville--mostly because I can see where it's heading, and it's about very awkward people. As an awkward person myself, there's only so much extra awkwardness that I can deal with before I have to switch off.

I can try watching the episode again, but I'll defer to your judgement if I can't get through it. If that is the case though, then the episode didn't do as well a job of conveying the message it needed to as I assumed--not thought, assumed, because I didn't watch the episode to the end, I simply read the Wiki article, and based by assumption on the principle of the phrase "Majority Rule."

Democracy does not work when it doesn't have a solid foundation. The very fact that fake news exists undermines the foundation of everything that any individual, group, or organization works to build.

Majority Rule is a crap idea in the first place. It presumes that individuals act with some common goal, or foundation. The US of A, for example, has the Constitution--but people can't agree on what it means, and nor do they have the methods of thinking that would allow them to examine the document. Heck, statistically most people can't understand long articles, because their attention span is about the length of a Twitter comment. I'm not trying to be insulting. This is a statistical fact for the majority of people--we do not, as a majority, have the capacity to make well-reasoned, rational judgements, or the capability to conduct the appropriate research.

Neither do politicians. Now, considering that I don't live in the US of A, and barely know the name of one political party from the other...let's see, there's the Demoprats, and the Reputridcans, right? Any other political parties I should know about? The USA does have more than two, right? Not certain, because those are the only ones I've heard about, by their bad reputations.

One thing I do know though, is the guy ostensibly in charge of the nuthouse at the moment is both a politician, and in the real-estate business.

I don't care what the media says. I am not going to trust a single word out of the mouth of someone who is both a politician and in the real-estate business. Politicians are liars. Real estate businessmen are liars. Both of them together is a liar squared. In order for any person in the position of both to get me to trust them, they'd have to give up all their political power, and all of their excess money and possessions first. I suspect that this is not something likely to occur.

Sorry for the side-rant. I've had bad experiences with both groups of people, and simply listening to the guy for five minutes tells me that he is no different than the very worst of both. I've listened to the guy for far more than five minutes, and I don't need some media person waffling on telling me "alleged" this and "alleged" that to figure out the guy's a criminal with the attitude of a mob boss, and I don't even want to live on the same planet as a person like him, because he's someone that'll screw everything up, for everyone, and get people killed for short-term power, and profit--which he has already done.
---------------------------------
Anyway, back to the point. Television is not the problem. The media isn't the problem. The majority of people not being able to discern truth from fiction, and deciding things as a majority, or as a minority group, instead of individuals with an individual brain? That's a problem. Frankly, it ain't a problem that's going to be fixed until virtually all of humanity is wiped out due to its own stupidity, again, and we can start over.

Especially with the "respect other people's opinions" crap. The only thing that I respect is the probability that all of our opinions, including my own, are wrong. I respect the fact that sometimes, nobody is right--until long after the fact. If opinions are wrong, and other people act on them, people very often end up dead.

I know I have faults. I'm trying to track them down. Even if I successfully fix my idiocies, I'm only one person--there's only so much I can do, and that means, in a world where humanity is NOT focused on trying to fix the problems that matter, I'm going to fail constantly, and as a result, I will contribute towards the general situation, which involves people dying due to worldwide stupidity. That's the world I live in, and it is not a safe world.

Now, if everyone just shut up, stopped rushing to climb the social ladder, and started thinking, and trying to identify and fix problems before they happen--especially the uncomfortable ones that didn't seem like such a big deal before, that's a world I could live in, and reasonably expect to be safe. Unfortunately, with the current state of affairs, it's nothing more than a pipe dream.

Don't get me wrong. Democracy CAN work. But it relies on the majority of people not being idiots when making decisions, and uh...that's not the case.

Anyway, I'm signing off. I really just popped in to offer my thoughts. Maybe I'll check back later, and see what I did wrong, and what people are upset about now. Hopefully I haven't annoyed anyone too much, and hopefully at least a couple of things I've said turn out to be practical, and relevant. Thanks for reading.
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Astronut7
Wed, May 30, 2018, 12:01pm (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

@Peter G.
Pick up a dictionary sometime. Dictionaries don't describe how a word should be used, but the people who make them record how a word is most commonly used.

Science. "A systematically organized body of knowledge on a particular subject."

That is NOT labelled as an archaic definition. That means it's still in common, widespread use today. There are people who use the word science to mean the formal procedure. There are people who use it to mean any systematically organized body of knowledge. There are also people who use it to refer to a particular way of thinking, which does not involve bureaucratic formal procedure.

When I use the word "science" I fluctuate between all of these meanings, and you're going to have to figure out from the context which one I mean at any given moment.

When other people use the word "science"--or any particular word expressing an idea, they are usually unaware that there is any other way of using the concept other than the one they've traditionally used--or they forget. You fell into that trap. Do better next time, otherwise I'll subject you to the terror of puns. :P

Just to be clear, I'm not very picky on how a word should be used. All I'm trying to make you aware of is that when a dictionary lists definitions of a word, that means ALL of those definitions have to be considered when communicating with another person, not just one of them. Figuring out the context is the real problem, and trying to remember all the probable meanings of a word is a pain in the neck.

And no. The major difference between philosophy and science is that in science you have to test your ideas against something. Star Trek tried to be about science. Not philosophy--although granted, it may be argued that science is a philosophy, but a very important type where the distinction should be made.

There is no one "scientific method". Heck, there was a scientific convention held in Munich within the last couple of years, where scientists were arguing about whether the various formalized, bureaucratic procedures that they've been using needed to be abandoned in favour of something else--mostly because the String Theorist crowd aren't getting anywhere, it seems.

Furthermore, I didn't up the ante. I merely informed you of how high the stakes were. The stakes are always related to the probability of death. Death is pretty much the one constant we can test all of our societal laws, and customs, and behaviours against. I'm sorry, but what have you been paying attention to? Because it certainly wasn't Star Trek if you fail to understand that.

You talk about a more enlightened age, yet fail to realize that the way of thinking set by Galileo, Newton, and Einstein--who were scientists who broke or preceded the bureaucratic convention set by...well, frankly, the lesser minds of the "scientific consensus"--that way of thinking was supposed to be that light. Not some wimpy philosophy.

Here's a little factoid for you: the one thing Aristotle got right was his detailed observations, and theories of biological creatures. That was also the one thing that was dismissed by the intelligentsia, in favour of the more beautiful ideas of the four elements.

So, get this idea that science is a formalized procedure with only one procedure out of your head. It CAN'T be, because a formalized procedure CANNOT ADAPT. Science is a mode of thinking that boils down to this: observe, record, and test. How you observe, record, and test, is up to us as individuals--and the consequences of choosing inadequate procedures is also up to individuals, and how we communicate, and interact.

That's it. The "scientific method" found in our books and taught in schools was simply written because schools needed a formalized procedure that sounded good in order so that non-scientists could teach students, yet maintain their authority.

Bit tricky that. If a good scientist is constantly observing, recording, and testing literally everything, that includes whether or not an authority is just. It would be interesting to find out why Einstein failed to get good grades in school.

As for people not watching science--no. I already said that people want drama, not science, and that science COULD be dramatic, so I don't think so. Mythbusters managed all right, as does David Attenborough's documentaries. Mostly because as I already stated, science CAN be dramatic. One dealt with explosives. The other dealt with nature, meaning life, and death. That's drama. It's when science fails to capture the imagination that people don't want anything to do with it. When people have to actually alter their methods of thinking, and behaving, due to science, we REALLY don't want anything to do with it.

Refusing to recognize that the ante is already on the subject of life and death, and instead blaming me for upping the ante? That's a pretty normal reaction from a human being. Attempting to dismiss uncomfortable, but necessary subjects as "too serious" is also a pretty normal reaction from a human being. Heck, I do it as well. I try not to. But I believe that you can do better than "normal." Stop trying to disappoint me.

One of the rules that Gene Roddenberry had was "no conflict" between the core cast of characters of TNG. He had the same rule in TOS actually, but people, including the writers, can't seem to figure out what "no conflict" meant.

You see, the core cast of characters of TOS and TNG were supposed to set an example. They were LAW ENFORCEMENT, scientists, physicians, and engineers. Starting with Deep Space Nine, and latter TNG, the writers got LAW ENFORCEMENT completely confused with THE MILITARY. Again, sorry for the ALL-CAPS. Still not sure how to italicize.

The core cast of TOS, and the core cast of TNG did, ultimately, set a pretty good example to the rest of us--although definitely not all the time, because there were failures, but they tried to learn from them. TOS had familiar types of people filling familiar, comfortable roles that people could relate to. The Next Generation took it one step further, by showing how humanity may progress in the future, with people that sometimes almost seemed more alien and inhuman than Spock.

Ultimately, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise, and Discovery's casts tended to set a poor example to the rest of us. This is because the writers were focused on making the characters think and act far too much like us, rather than actually being better than us.

Most people don't think like law enforcement, or like people who have seen death in the face. Most people don't bother trying to apply forensics, and scientific modes of thinking to everyday life. TOS, and TNG, share that common ground, and tried to show us a better example, failing, and learning along the way.

Star Trek Discovery was almost going into histrionics claiming that Michael Burnham was "the best" and the Discovery was "cutting edge" and everything was going to be "better." That turned out to be crap. Also, don't forget, by setting the events ten years before everything else, (aside from ENT), they can say, "FIRST! We did it first!"

Star Trek TOS rarely if ever claimed that the Enterprise was the "best" at anything. She was a "good ship." The Enterprise was always venturing into the unknown, and they quite often came across wreckage of those that had made the attempt before them.

The pilot episode of TOS established that the Enterprise was good, but not good enough to be certain of surviving what's out there, and certainly not the best.

When Picard stepped onto the Enterprise-D, he was astonished, not by the technology, but by the...comfort, luxury, and space. It wasn't the best ship in the fleet. It was a good ship. Nice pacing room. Comfy seats. Patrick Stewart was annoyed about the captive fish. It could go toe-to-toe with a Klingon warship, but it was no match for something like Q.

The very first episode of TNG established that the Enterprise was good, but not good enough to be certain of surviving what's out there, even after encountering many situations like this before (Picard shrugs Q off, and sips tea--as if we're going to be damned, let us be damned for what we truly are).

Voyager, Enterprise, and Discovery all tried to establish that they were "the best", "the first", and "more real, and relatable." Deep Space Nine did "the best", and "more real, and relatable", but credit where credit is due--they never claimed to be "the best"--although they DID claim that TNG was lording it over everyone else, with "the best ship" because Sisko was very bitter about his loss, and probably because the writers were very bitter about certain restrictions they had previously worked under.

Heck, Discovery essentially tried to make the ship Q-lite. Teleportation? A galaxy-wide spore-drive? Constantly being at the centre of everything, as if everything depended on Michael Sue, or...oh, heck, I can't even remember the names of the characters. I don't want to remember. I need that space for other things. The loopy guy that's hooked up to the shroom dream machine, that could see all of time and space.

If you can see all of time and space, you are Q-lite. TNG and TOS already made the point that human beings are not psychologically equipped to deal with that kind of power. There's no science if you can be at the centre of all things. The simple way of thinking that is science is very definitely what Star Trek has been lacking over the years, not some bureaucratic procedure determined by consensus.

Integrity is part and parcel of science. Science is about finding truth. You can't do that if you don't have any integrity yourself.

Heck, one thing Discovery did right was having the shady military guy at the top, constantly chastising people for not doing well enough, and running the sims again because the stakes were that people would die. Pity the show then made him out to be some prat from the alternate universe. What a waste.
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Astronut7
Wed, May 30, 2018, 5:13am (UTC -5)
Re: DSC S1: Will You Take My Hand?

Let me be blunt: Discovery is the end result of the long and painful road from Gene Roddenberry's innovative ideas--which, let me be very clear on this, were completely unpolished, and looked like crap the first time around, and some of them were actually crap, but that's what happens with innovation: it mostly consists of failures, then learning from them. The second, and third time around, they looked a heck of a lot better, because they had actually been polished, and people were more comfortable with the strange new ideas. Now though, the polish is all that's left--the innovation, and the ideas just aren't there. All we're left with is the polishing/money machine spinning its wheels.

@Jammer, you think Discovery can be salvaged. Now, with all honours due to you for running this site for many years, I have no respect for that opinion. Discovery began with a lie: that it would take place ten years before the original series of Star Trek, and would honour that series, and honour what Star Trek stood for. It claimed that the main character was the best first officer in the fleet. It claimed that the starship Discovery was a cutting edge prototype, with a handpicked crew personally selected from the best of the best. It claimed that it respected Star Trek. It claimed that it would explore the Klingon, and Vulcan, and Starfleet culture during a time of war, it claimed to be a show about DISCOVERY (the action of)...it claimed many things and it dropped the ball on all of them, because what happened was they wanted to create a high-octane visually spectacular dramatic series that was about shooting things, and the Star Trek name was conveniently to hand. A polishing machine can't innovate.

The Orville, on the other hand, began with the truth: that it was a fan-made Star Trek style of series, about a motley crew that were...well, pretty incompetent. It was going to use episodes to discuss topical situations, and it was going to do so with average people that weren't that smart. The Orville is a show that can actually go somewhere, because it started with a small, humble premise: that it was probably going to be awful, but at least somewhat amusing. It delivered. Discovery didn't, and in the end they flung the Enterprise at us, going "Ooh! Look! Shiny thing! Shiny thing you used to have! You like shiny thing! Tune in next time!"

I don't particularly like the Orville, because it is an awkward show, and I'm not comfortable with awkward shows, because I'm an awkward person. I like shows like Discovery, because Discovery isn't an awkward show. It's a very confident show, and confidence is very attractive--but it's a very confident show that will stupidly walk off the edge of a cliff, and claim that the ground rushing up to meet it isn't a problem. It's at this point that I stop liking shows like Discovery, and have to switch back to shows like the Orville, and then after watching this different type of stupidity for a while with nothing else available, switch off the TV/monitor in disgust.

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@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Ooh. That's an interesting talking point. First, let me apologize for being too lazy to find your previous comments, so I don't know exactly what you went through on this site. But before that:

@Chrome, @Welcher
I'm not entirely sure what's going on here, but I am very concerned because I know of people who have committed suicide over online bullying. If there was a "big dramatic departure" and a subsequent return months later, then OTDP very clearly has strong feelings about the subject of Star Trek--strong enough that attempting to bury the issue with a "Don't take it personally" is nothing more than trite. Whatever happened, even with the limited information I have, it very clearly got personal enough that a person was forced out of the discussion, and the community on this website, albeit temporarily. If someone states that they are "permanently leaving" a community due to a bad experience, then that's an indication that they may be considering suicide--because the future is always in motion, until you die.

Be more careful in the future, and I would suggest thinking about ways in which the current issue with OTDP can be resolved to mutual benefit. Again, I apologize for butting in, but if the discussion online gets "heated," there can be some serious physical, financial, and legal consequences, and I would rather that it didn't get to that point again, for anyone else.

Oh, and Welcher, Nostradamus-Yanks was wrong. When websites go defunct, accounts are erased, or the user dies after they've announced their "dramatic departure," then they don't come back. Furthermore, if someone announces their departure due to bad circumstances, then comes back later to check if circumstances have improved and they haven't, then THAT is when they usually don't come back. This also applies to moving between towns, businesses, or countries.

@OmicronThetaDeltaPhi
Speaking of serious consequences in social media, yes, "Majority Rule" is emblematic of lessons that human beings fail to remember, or never bother learning in the first place. It's not particularly groundbreaking in the sense that it HAS been done before, many times.

However, it is like you said--as subtle as a sledgehammer; a sledgehammer used for breaking ground. Some people watched it, and they may have taken the lesson to heart because it was presented in such a clear, and simplistic way, in a show about average people, so it more clearly related to them: democracy does NOT WORK when people don't think about the consequences. The majority isn't always right; in fact it's usually wrong just as often, if not more so, than any individual minority. This is why groundbreaking science is often the result of the work of a small group of individuals, or an individual, and not the scientific community as a whole.

The universe sets the rules. If we disobey them, we die. If we find out what the universal laws are, we might get to live. That's as simple as it gets. Anything else is mere self-destructive fantasy. It's a pity that most human beings seem so intent on setting customs, and rules, and organizations, and communities, that are ignorant, contrary, and dismissive of the laws set by the universe.

Screw up, and people die. If they don't, or we don't, then we got lucky...this time. That luck won't hold out forever, and death...is neither a heavenly utopia, nor the painless nothingness that people make it out to be. As far as I can see, death means disintegration; being alone, unable to rest, unable to recover, unable to learn anything or change anything or remember anything. Merely being...in pieces, not in peace.

Perhaps resurrection is a thing; but if it is, it probably relies on pure chance--and if we do get a second chance...it's likely only to be beneficial to those who don't squander the chances they get. Most people squander their chances, and don't even realize it. I know I do. I always get things wrong, and I've encountered far too many people who just don't care when they do.

Sorry this got dark, and depressing. I can only hope that something in this message will actually help. People fail to understand the things that are important, and forget, because we are too busy constructing or maintaining our fantasies. This has been the case since humanity began, and it is only because a few people are actually better than this that we have survived this long.

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@Jammer
One of the things I'm aware of, through navigating this site, is that you review each episode based on its dramatic qualifications--how it makes you feel. You talk about the characters. You talk about the visuals. You talk about the twists and turns of the plot. You're a damn fine reviewer. One of the best.

Except when the story stops being a dramatic story. This is important, because you're asking what the point of this season of Discovery is, and still think the show can be salvaged, when it practically cannot. In order to answer that question, and to show you why it probably can't be fixed, it might be a good idea to reflect on how Star Trek began. You certainly know more about this than I do, but you may not have considered it in this light, so bear with me.

Oddly enough, you don't seem to have reviewed "The Cage"--am I just not seeing it, or is it not on this website?

Anyway, "The Cage" is the original, rejected pilot for Star Trek. It is what the creator of the show envisioned. Essentially, I think Gene Roddenberry took the basic idea of "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"--a TV series about an advanced scientific research submarine called the SeaView which was funded by the military, journeying through oceans full of James Bond-esque villains, and strange, alien forms of life--and set it in space.

The pilot episode featured a world-weary Captain Pike, in charge of the scientific/military submarine--in Space! It featured aliens who--appropriately enough to this discussion, constructed a fantasy, that Pike ultimately rejected, and destroyed. It featured science, front and center, although it got many details very wrong, wasn't particularly dramatic, and was quite repetitive.

You can see why the executives rejected it. It wasn't dramatic. It had a female first officer (later Nurse Chapel, and Roddenberry's wife). It had an alien that looked like the Devil (a smiling Spock). The captain was too cynical. It didn't put the American Dream in a very good light. These things had to be changed.

Star Trek was supposed to be a show about science. Now, there's a couple of different types of science, and practically everyone gets confused about which one a person is talking about. In a nutshell, there's the "book smart," "street smart," and "wise fool" types of science. Bookish science is reliant on knowledge that has been written down. Street science is reliant on experience or training to figure things out. Wise fools neither have knowledge, nor experience; they figure things out by not knowing what is "known" to be true--in other words, they weren't told it was impossible, they didn't have the experience to tell them that it was impossible--they thought about it, and decided to try it out, and it worked--or possibly, it didn't work when it was supposed to, and then they sat down to try figuring out why.

Star Trek was not supposed to be a show about drama--not primarily anyway. Nor was it to be a show primarily about philosophy. It was to be a show about SCIENCE. [Not sure how to bold or italicize words here, sorry.]

The best science fiction, I have found, is not particularly dramatic. It can be, but it usually isn't. This is because science, when used appropriately, is either used to avoid drama in the first place, or used to fix the drama when it wasn't avoided. When used inappropriately, science is just a bundle of unrelated factoids or trivia which allows people to kill each other more effectively.

Examples of good science fiction include Isaac Asimov's Foundation/Robots Trilogy, Arthur C. Clarke's novels, including 2001: A Space Odyssey--and Robert A. Heinlein's novels, including Starship Troopers, and Citizen of the Galaxy (I have not read Stranger in a Strange Land). H.G. Wells, and Jules Verne are also notable examples. Other examples of science fiction, where science is actually utilized, not just spouted out, are the detective novels by Arthur Conan Doyle, and last but certainly not least--Agatha Christie. Most of these examples are not particularly good drama, but they are utilize science well.

This might be because all of the authors I have mentioned were also scientists, engineers, military, physicians or otherwise engaged in professions or situations in which forensic, scientific thought is required, in addition to being writers.

I don't know much about Gene Roddenberry, but a quick glance at the Wikipedia page shows that he flew 89 combat missions--if he hadn't developed some line of scientific thought during that time, he would have died during those missions, and Star Trek would never have existed. Having your life on the line as a pilot...actually, hold that thought. It says here that he piloted a plane that overshot the runway on landing, killing the bombardier and navigator. Roddenberry was absolved of responsibility, and he then spent time as a plane crash investigator.

In other words, Roddenberry was also someone who developed scientific, and forensic lines of thinking.

In other words, Roddenberry was writing science fiction.

In other words, most writers have NOT developed some kind of scientific thought, and most people don't HAVE a scientific background.

In other words, Star Trek started out as science fiction with Roddenberry at the helm. Slowly but surely it has become a bad drama franchise. Deep Space Nine was a major culprit in this, although that was quite well done, and the writers probably learned something from Roddenberry, even as they tried to get away from a scientific or forensic line of thinking, and back to drama.

In other words, I'd suggest re-watching Encounter at Farpoint again. This time, from the viewpoint of the concepts that EaF was establishing. One of the major complaints you have Jammer, about a story, is when a story is repetitive.

Good science is repetitive. Good science fiction is repetitive. Good science is simple. Good science fiction is simple. Good science is not easy to understand. Good science fiction is not easy to understand. Good science fiction is not drama. Good science prevents drama from happening.

Some of the very best science fiction episodes of Star Trek, like Encounter at Farpoint, or the Corbomite Maneuver--because of their simple, repetitive ideas, you misunderstood because you reviewed them from a drama, or a philosophical focus. They did not have a drama or philosophy focus. They had a scientific focus. A simple scientific focus, that made strange new ideas easy to understand.

The trouble is, if something is easy, we don't appreciate it. If something is simple, we don't understand it, unless it fits in with what we already "know" to be true. If something is complex, and technically difficult to accomplish, but fits within what we already know--we very frequently automatically admire it, even when it's a load of rubbish.

"The Cage", "Encounter at Farpoint" and Star Trek as a whole, is about preventing drama from happening. This is why we explore strange new worlds, and seek out new life, and civilizations--we go forth boldly, because if we don't know what's out there, we don't know what to defend ourselves from. Ignoring the wide open universe is just asking for trouble, and science--therefore science fiction, is all about preventing drama from happening. When that fails, it's about fixing the problem so that it doesn't happen again.

In Encounter at Farpoint, Roddenberry made it very clear that humanity had almost been obliterated, and finally learned from their mistakes. Perhaps, you could even say, that Star Trek is not one man's dream of a utopian future.

No.

Star Trek is a dream of a tired military pilot, who flew too many combat missions, saw too many people die, saw too many accidents happen that could have been prevented if people would just start thinking. Because in the end, money doesn't matter if money gets you, and the people around you killed. Star Trek was the ultimate condemnation of the stupidity of humans today. The stupidity in dreams of climbing the social ladder at the cost of what's important. The stupidity, and deadliness, of fantasies and drama.

We must go forth boldly. We must try out new ideas. We must make peace with what's out there, in whatever form it may appear. But we must do so, because our lives depend on it, not because our wallets do.

This isn't a new idea. Roddenberry isn't a visionary. What he tried to do was communicate a simple idea of how things could be better, if people understood the important things. Unfortunately, Roddenberry himself clearly didn't understand what exactly the important things were, or more accurately, how they applied to every situation--or at least, not before they blew up in his face.

This has been going on since the dawn of history. Most people never learn. Some people try to, but eventually fall, and do not get up again. Others refuse to learn in the first place. A few are wise fools, who fail, and learn, and ultimately endure.

I think I'm one of the "can't seem to get up again" crowd, in case you're curious.

In a nutshell, Discovery can't be salvaged because it doesn't have people who understand scientific or forensic lines of thought, applied to everyday life. The very core of Star Trek--the bit that all the money in the world can't buy; the bit that started the whole franchise--is something so alien to what the majority of people want from it.

People want drama. They don't want science, because the job of science is to prevent drama from happening. In order to do this properly, the Enterprise has to boldly go, to find the drama, before it finds them. That, to me, is the nature of Trek...

...but I'm probably wrong. In fact, I'm almost certainly wrong somewhere. Let me know if you think you've figured out where, and inform me what I did incorrectly, so that I may correct my understanding for future endeavours. Thanks.
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